Translator’s Note: I will be using italics for thoughts and quotations for dialogue.
I like potatoes – TL’s thoughts
“Nom Nom Nom” – TL’s speech
Author’s Note: Nice to meet you, my name is Firehead. Even if only to kill time, please take a look.
Everyone was frozen in place—the king on his throne, the soldiers at their posts, the magicians in the hall, and the 200-year-old advisor by the king.
They were all overwhelmed, captivated, and terrified.
Golden hair tinged with a maroon hue at its ends, eyes that shone crimson like the setting sun, and a scarlet overcoat that hugged her perfectly proportioned body—she was so beautiful that the world turned just to look at her. Yet, poking out from the overcoat was the symbol of the flugel race—the large, jet black wings of taboo.
As if greeting the true sovereign of the nation, everyone hung their heads before her, trembling in fear. To raise their heads was impossible, to gaze upon her was unthinkable. The retainers could only continue to grovel before her as if to pay their respects.
Radiating an aura of domination and surrounded by prostrating figures, she truly took on the appearance of a ruler. What’s more, her every motion brimmed with an unbridled confidence.
And in the midst of this maelstrom.
Having forced the entirety of the castle into submission without a lifting a finger, the young girl silently smiled and thought to herself.
The hell? Why are all these strangers bowing their heads to me? What is this? Some kind of practical joke? What do they want from me? What just happened? Someone help!?
It was none other than the young girl herself whose mental state was in the most disorder.
Exactly how did things turn out this way? I guess I must first explain this in order. However, there is something I need to say before I explain. I’m actually a man. An exceedingly normal, healthy man. And with that in mind, I humbly request your audience.
Let’s see… I was playing games like any other day.
“X-gate online.” It was a game launched six years back, in the year 2027.
The RPG, taking place in the world of Midgard, became popular enough to be adapted into an open-world TRPG. The original was an online game as well, but unfortunately, I didn’t have the proper game console to play it.
…well, I did consider buying it. The Dreamstation, I mean.
The Dreamstation was a console manufactured over 20 years ago, so it was pretty difficult to get your hands on. What’s more, we didn’t have a second-hand store in our neighborhood. Well, it is what it is. Without any major twists, the game created a friendly experience for beginners. Like most RPG’s, monsters, elves, fairies, and a great variety of races decorated the map.
Just as the game was released, I stumbled upon it as a high school student. I had no expectations, but free food is the best food, so I gave it a go.
The result—a complete addiction. I became the so-called ‘fanatic’.
I dedicated as much time my schedule could afford. Eventually, I obtained cash shop items, for which I even picked up a simple side job I could do from home.
Why work at home? …I wouldn’t be able to game if I left the house.
Even my time spent at school felt wasted. And Naturally, I was a faithful member of the go-home club. My happiness—and the happiness of the great majority of players was something decided by how soon we could see the login page again. As the number addicts increased, a law was passed to regulate the distribution of online games. Then, in accordance with the regulation, “X-gate Online” limited the daily playing time to ten hours. As a result, I was able to obtain the same login time as other players while commuting to school. This way, I was able to maintain my status as one of the highest ranked players.
I continued to nurture my in-game character, frantically leveling and alternating between various character classes.
One of the most appealing aspects of the game was the expansive character customization. There were… 8,687,500 different character customizations in total. The ability to freely combine those options allowed for an infinite variety of avatars. This further enabled your ability to foster your love for your own character.
Using this system, the character I created, Ruphas Mafahl, was a young girl of the flugel race. The flugel was one of the game’s many races. It was one capable of flight and possessed extraordinary basic abilities in exchange for being unable to learn all classes of magic. They were also nicknamed the “race of rulers” and were endowed with high charisma and the ability to tame monsters the moment they were born.
These abilities were reflected in the actual gameplay. Furthermore, the flugels had a skill that nullified attacks from opponents with a significant level difference to their own.
This skill was rendered ineffective during boss battles, though.
I trained and trained Ruphas. I armed her with cash shop equipment and participated in every in-game event possible. Before long, I established a nation, which would expand my character’s influence. It started off small, but steadily grew in size.
The game also included a feature that allowed you to wage “war”. Two countries would fight with all their might, and the losing nation would be absorbed into the winner’s realm of influence. Using this system, Ruphas reaped countless victories from hundreds of nations. Of course, although it’s called an “invasion”, both nations needed to give their consent. Attacking without an agreement would leave you shunned by the entire community.
There was one more unique feature in the game: the “novel system”. Made in collaboration with one of the largest online publishers, the system allows players to compile their actions into a “formal history” similar to a fiction novel.
“For this reason, I waged war.”
“We suffered through so many hardships to fulfill this request.”
If you sent these to the official website, the accepted narrations would actually appear on the homepage and be implemented into the game.
If you paid the money, even a small accomplishment could be written as a glorious tale. As a result, there were unique backstories wherever you went in “X-gate Online”, and all players served as protagonists of the story. In addition, if there was a major turning point in the game, the event would be recorded into “history” for free.
Known by every single player, my character, Ruphas, even became a semi-official character of the game. She crushed all opposing forces, becoming the first ruler to unite all of mankind under one sphere of influence.
The black wings of dread—Ruphas Mafahl. At one point in time, I held the entire world of Midgard in the palm of my hand, creating an era of my own.
As one would expect, the Demon King and his followers could not be brought into submission, but other than solo players, all players became citizens of Ruphas’ nation.
This became a major event recorded in the novel system. Displayed alongside the demon king as the “wild last boss”, I was often told “Ruphas should just replace the last boss” and other remarks along these lines.
However, there was a problem. Frankly, the game was boring with a single overlord. The long-awaited war functionality was rendered useless, and it became extremely difficult for novice players to establish their own nations. That’s when I sparked a discussion with higher level players and planned a massive event upon player suggestions.
I even consulted a popular author on the publishing site and wrote up our own turning point of history.
The story went something like this. With her overwhelming military might, Overlord Ruphas invaded and unified the world. However, a group of heroes assembled from the far corners of the world. Grasping the chance to revolt, they naturally confronted the great evil in the name of goodwill! Oh valiant heroes, I commend you for your great courage. Now is the time to break free of the chains of tyranny and overthrow the throne!
I played the villain. Ruphas then split her territory into two parts in secret. Then, with Ruphas leading the imperial army and the heroes leading the rebel forces, a battle of incomparable scale took place.
Long story short, I lost. All the prominent players played the opposing team. On the other hand, our forces consisted of roughly eighty percent of low-level players who didn’t stand a chance against their experienced opponents. Nevertheless, I stood my ground until the very end, and before I knew it, I was the only one left alive. By this time, my HP had been reduced to a measly two points.
It was damage taken from a single attack. In a preemptive strike, we were able to exhaust the opponent’s stamina and health, but they activated the skill, [Switch Places], immediately after. Then, the heroes staged their glorious victory as planned.
On top of barraging us with overkill attacks, they went as far to seal us into a different subspace, prolonging our revival time. Since it would have been awkward to be defeated in silence, I read some cool lines before being sealed
“Magnificent! That was magnificent, heroes! You have clearly expressed your overwhelming power! A party of your caliber might just be able to stand up to the Demon King!”
You can tell I was at the peak of puberty.
Defeated, Ruphas went into hiding and the world was freed from her rule—or so the event was portrayed in the completed story
It gained quite the reputation, receiving comments like “So I’m fine with the story ending here?”, “Nice finale”, “Hey, don’t just forget about the Demon King (LOL)!”, “Demon King? Ah, you mean the guy who’s been hiding until Ruphas-sama was done in. Uuuh, what was his name again?”, and “You guys are too cruel XDDDDD”.
Although defeated, I felt satisfied with playing my part in a major event. I sat in a dark room, a wide grin lit by only the light of my display.
The following day, a familiar character greeted me from the login page. Alovenas, the goddess of genesis, waved from the screen. She was, to put it bluntly, the representation of game administration.
She often made her appearance in tutorials and in-game event announcements. Her offensive ability, HP, and defensive power were definite numbers, but it was not something you could possibly match. Hell, she had 999 billion HP. Even boss characters have a threshold of around a million. This official cheater showed up to tell me something.
“Would you like to be granted a new role?”
Presently, Ruphas was listed beside the Demon King as one of the major boss characters of “X-gate online”. Naturally, the administrators couldn’t just keep quiet. After being defeated in such a dramatic manner, casually logging back in would be a bit too anticlimactic.
Moreover, if I just strolled back into the game, what would happen to the story? Thinking that this message was a godsend, I hit “yes” without a second thought. I’ve devoted thousands of hours to this game. That’s why, regardless of what kind of role it was, I would accept the challenge head-on.
Then, my vision blacked out.
And we have now arrived at the present situation. Prostrating figures surround me. A heavy weight on my chest and sense of loss between my legs. My body is wrapped in a dress and overcoat. Long hair frames my field of vision and a pair of wings sprout from my back. With strangely clear eyesight, I gaze at a distant window, where the appearance of an absurdly beautiful girl is reflected.
I… turned into Ruphas?
Nonono, no waaaay. I’m male, you know? Ruphas is female, you know?
I spent grueling hours customizing a beauty to suit my tastes, but I’ve never once wished to be Ruphas. You see, what I’m trying to say is that the entire appeal of a female avatar is the occasional peek at her goods and I can’t see shit from this angle!
“…hmph, I don’t quite understand the current situation… so is someone going to explain it to me?”
…heeey. I knew my voice would change. That was expected. But this arrogance in my voice! Somehow, when I tried to say “Sorry, I don’t really understand the current situation. I would really appreciate it if someone would give an explanation.” the words came out of my mouth in a needlessly haughty tone. Come to think of it, wasn’t this the tone I used to roleplay Ruphas?
“What’s wrong, children of mankind? Raise your heads. How long do you plan on prostrating? Or is that your normal posture? In that case, let me apologize for my ignorance.”
—What’s wrong? Please raise your heads. If you continue to maintain that posture, I won’t be able to stand the embarrassment. Or if you would pardon me for asking, is that your normal posture? In that case, I apologize for my lack of common sense—is what I tried to say. I sound way too oppressive.
No matter what I try to say, it’ll just end up sounding haughty again. What do I even do?
…ah, I see! It was my [Coercion] skill! Uuuh, I’m positive you could switch it on and off… calm down already, [Coercion]! Ugh, the pressure is unbearable…!
“…ah, I see. Pardon my carelessness. It would be hard to converse with this activated.”
[Coercion] off! There was no convenient computer window, but I dealt with the problem through intuition. As for whether my attempt was successful, the people who were prostrating before me finally raised their heads and cast their trembling gazes upon me.
“Wo—woah… This figure… No way… so you were alive…”
The gentleman dressed like a Shinto priest mumbled a trembling voice. How rude. I have no recollection of having died before. Ah, but Ruphas died just the other day, though.
“Ye—Yeah, we made an incredible miscalculation. An unforgivable… unforgivable mistake. During the summoning of a hero, we have instead undone the seal on the Overlord…”
“—hmph, I see. Seems like this man knows who I am. Then let’s have you explain the situation to me.”
It seems like this man knows who I am. Then it would be better to ask him for an explanation. To grant him a peace of mind, I smiled and gently informed him of my harmlessness.
“Don’t be so afraid, child of man. I won’t do any harm to you and your compatriots… just relax, and start talking.”
—but there really is nothing I can do about this haughtiness, is there.
【The setting you don’t really have to remember】
- X-gate online.
The original game ran on the Dreamstation game console and was eventually converted into a TRPG and an MMO as well. It was not a VR.
Unlike all the MMORPG’s so far, it resembled a TRPG. For instance, when changing classes, you could retain the skills of your previous class in secrecy.
In collaboration with one of the largest online publishing sites, player actions and choices were recorded as a story.
(However, in reality, whether your actions would really be written about actually just depended on how the authors felt about it. Players would submit drafts that said “this is how it all played out!” and if you were lucky, it would be picked up by an author and written as a story. There are also authors who would accept money for the service, and it was plenty possible to record your accomplishments by paying. However, not just anyone could become an author. They were properly picked out by the administration and rarely would you find a shitty story.)
While standing in a gray area between an RPG and a TRPG, the game also comprised of the elements of a novel, giving it the peculiar title of an MMONRPG (Mass Multiplayer Online Novel Role Playing Game).
This system had quite the reputation with players crazed over character personalization. Nevertheless, a number of players felt nothing from their actions being written as a story.
Six years after its release, the game has a total of over 8 million players internationally. It was fundamentally free-to-play, but as you proceeded throughout the game, it would continue to pressure you to spend real money.
The game was produced by Niente Corporation.